In a significant legal development, a group of LGBTQ activists in Uganda has filed a lawsuit in the nation’s Constitutional Court, seeking to challenge a recently enacted law that imposes severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and potentially even death, for individuals found guilty of violating its provisions. A group consisting of ten individuals and a civil rights organization has submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court seeking the annulment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. This legal action comes in response to the Act’s criminalization of consensual same-sex relationships, as highlighted by Richard Smith Lusimbo, one of the petitioners, in an email correspondence from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
President Yoweri Museveni’s recent endorsement of the legislation, which was passed by lawmakers on May 2, prompted the filing of this challenge. The newly enacted law has attracted international criticism, drawing attention from prominent figures such as the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Secretary Blinken expressed concerns about the violation of universal human rights and announced the potential imposition of travel restrictions on Ugandan officials involved in the abuse of these rights.
It is worth noting that Uganda’s Constitutional Court previously invalidated an earlier version of the Anti-Homosexuality Act more than eight years ago due to procedural irregularities. The current petition seeks to address the fundamental issues of legality and uphold the principles of fairness and justice.